Shadows and Dreams

shadows and dreams s

I dreamt of my grandmother
in a large bed
in a crowded room
filled with aunts and uncles and cousins.

But where was my mother?

I sat in a rocking chair
and held her mother’s hand.
We did not need to speak–
her fingers had already threaded the needle
and passed it along.

My father came to me
like a bird, wings of arms outstretched.
“I am looking out for you,” he said.
I knew then he had made it safely
to the other side.

The dreams of a child
are like the cascading of oceans–
endless waves merging as they ebb and flow,
fantastic worlds ignoring the divisions
of day and night.
I would be a princess, a singer, a cosmic traveler,
an artist.  I would be a butterfly, a tree,
a bird.

What were my mother’s dreams?

I could not imagine her as a child.

She said she had wanted to be
an engineer.  She wanted
to study in Mexico.  She wanted
to travel the world.  Her father said
that was not what women did.
They married and had families–
and so she married my father,
and I was born between brothers.

When I dreamed of my children’s father,
he was working.
He was always working.
But my heart was glad:
“You are yourself again,” I said.
I knew he had made it safely
to the other side,
tools in hand.

For the last few years of her life,
my mother barely spoke.
She lost her tether to the world
when my father died.
Neither the hands of her children or her sister
could pull her back.

She is suspended in both time and place.

And so each night I wait.
When will she return to me, herself again,
to embrace my longing?

Where is my mother?

shadows and dreams close up s

I don’t usually write such long or personal poems, but Larry Levis’ beautiful and meditative words, the reference for today’s NaPoWriMo prompt about the layers of time in thought and in life, made me think (as I often do) of my mother.  I’ve also incorporated the dVerse prompt of cascade.

napo2019button2

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About memadtwo

For more madness, follow me on Instagram @h_zimel

48 responses to “Shadows and Dreams”

  1. Phil Cooper says :

    what a Beautiful and powerful poem, makes me think about how much i love and appreciate my mum. I was looking through old photos at the weekend and found one I took a couple of years ago of four generations of women in my family together, wonderful .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. memadtwo says :

    This one actually made me cry. Very beautiful and dreamlike. The artwork looks three dimensional. Great work K.

    Like

  3. Jodi says :

    Wow Kerfe! This is beautiful. Gave me goosebumps. I love you showing your personal side. The poem AND art are so impactful! LOVE! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Angela van Son says :

    Touching. Very.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. robtkistner says :

    There is a sad longing that comes to those whose loved one looses the tether to use you words Kerfe. It can, in ways, be more difficult than the actual passing of the loved one. A death is devastating, but it is an absolute that marks a point in time from which one can begin moving forward. This was a tender but bittersweet poem. Well written…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. deuxiemepeau says :

    I am so glad you shared this longer poem with us, what tenderness and beauty. The distance, the changes, the opinions of how one should be back then and those arms, still connecting so much. A true beauty Kerfe 😘😘🤗🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  7. merrildsmith says :

    This is filled with such longing–the dreams, the questions of who and why–and loved ones suspended in time. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) says :

    This is the best poem I have ever read from you… It tells you story, yet it also tells the story of how society worked (or still works)… to be so tethered to someone you lose yourself is such a sad side of symbiosis.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jade Li says :

    Your cascade of revery is pleasure to read and must have been difficult to write. The painting perfectly reflects your poetry. The closeup caps it. So well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. lynn__ says :

    Having lost my birth mother (when I was 16 months), I can relate to the emotional longing in this; the dreams of the heart, a searching that never finds a satisfactory conclusion…beautifully expressed!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. rivrvlogr says :

    You’ve painted two sides of loss here, Kerfe – one of wonder, and the other of knowing.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. outsideauthority says :

    A very beautiful piece

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Shuku Li says :

    Kerfe! It’s so lovely to read your poetry, and knowing I have a whole month of it makes me very happy. What a beautifully poignant memory all woven up with so many tangible things – and the artwork is stunning.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Frank Hubeny says :

    Very nice. I hope your mother finds it safely to the other side and then lets you know. Nice lines: “her fingers had already threaded the needle
    and passed it along.”

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Grace says :

    I hope and pray that your mother has found peace at last. Thanks for the moving personal share.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sharon Mann says :

    Your memories remind me of own mother and grandmother. The needle and thread wove through all of our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Janice says :

    Meeting loved ones in our dreams…an inspired write…

    Liked by 1 person

  18. LuAnne Holder says :

    I’m so glad you posted this. I enjoyed both the poem and the paintings. Dreams are fascinating, aren’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Gospel Isosceles says :

    An ethereal journey of loss and reunification and within the context of the cascade image, the various dreams of different loved ones on the other side were found with each transitioning waterfall. But with mention of your mother, hoping she will come to you, it’s as if she weren’t the hope of the final resting pool, but the very water itself, carrying you.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. 10000hoursleft says :

    This is so beautiful Kerfe. Perfect images too- the earths core or an image of a brain and where emotions and memories are housed until we get to the other side. Then where do they go?

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Betty Hayes Albright says :

    Beautifully touching poem, Kerfe.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Noellie says :

    That was such a beautiful read. I hope she finds her peace and returns to you in a wonderful dream. https://noelliesplace.com/2019/04/29/dreams/

    Liked by 1 person

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